Recycling has become a big topic both at home and at work, and more and more businesses are looking at what they recycle and how they do it. With increasing pressure from authorities, some see this as a chore whilst others have embraced the task. Ultimately, one approach tends to be more successful than the other, so here, we take a look at why.
Incorporating business recycling into your company culture can change the way that everyone within the business looks at the issue. Once this works its way through all elements of your business, it can alter the amount that you recycle, impacting the good that you do for your business as well as the planet.
There are many benefits that come from recycling, so incorporating it into the whole company culture can help to make the most of these, whilst also raising the green profile of your business.
Company culture is something that we have all heard about but creating it can be a very different matter. It actually relates to how a company cultivates its attitudes, employees, behaviours, and work ethic and can be defined by the mission statement of a business. The values and beliefs that are upheld by the leadership of the business are also indicative of the company culture and it should develop from the top down through everyone.
Company culture needs to be at the heart of the business, whatever the size it can play a significant role in how the company grows and develops. It requires a business to look inside itself and see what it really wants to be known for and can even change how you recruit as you might start to find that you are looking for a different type of person.
The benefits of recycling
We all understand that we need to do more to look after the planet, and businesses are having to take their green credentials very seriously these days. That is why recycling is now so important in helping businesses to reduce their carbon footprint. Waste is a significant concern, particularly when it is being sent to landfills, which can create a number of problems, both environmentally and socially.
There are more materials than ever before that can be recycled and doing so properly can do a lot for your reputation. Businesses that are seen to be responsible and striving to be as green as possible can be beneficial when it comes to attracting new customers or business partners.
Recycling can also impact your bottom line, as the cost of sending waste to landfills is rising. The tax on doing so has increased per tonne in order to encourage businesses to recycle as much as possible, so it can save significant amounts of money. In addition to this, some materials can make you money directly. A number of materials such as scrap paper, cardboard, plastic, and metal are in high demand, and certain businesses are prepared to pay you for these.
The main purpose of recycling is to reuse materials instead of remaking them, which can be very important in reducing your carbon footprint, as it can impact the materials that you buy as well as the ones that you dispose of. With increasing numbers of businesses recycling, there are more materials to take advantage of. This means that they do not need to be manufactured from scratch, which means fewer materials being mined or harvested, and less energy being used in production.
The effect that a socially responsible business can have on its staff should not be underestimated. With most employees recycling at home, they are often pleased to see the business that they work for following suit. It can avoid resentment towards businesses that do not take their recycling seriously and can make your employees proud to work for you.
Businesses are not expected to recycle out of the goodness of their hearts, and so there are regulations in place to encourage this. The UK government has put increasing pressure on businesses to recycle as much as possible through the 2010 Landfill Allowance Trading Scheme which limits how much waste can actually be taken to landfill. There are also standards which have been designed to help business waste make the least possible impact on the environment.
Becoming part of the culture
There is a big difference between doing the bare minimum and making recycling part of your company culture. If it is part of the culture, it is much easier to involve everyone in taking part. That means that everything in the business can be thought about, with everything from big waste to scrap paper and water bottles being taken into consideration.
Weaving recycling into the fibres of your company culture means that everyone will work together towards the same aim. It allows employees to take the time to understand the importance of recycling both for the environment and the business, which means they will also see how it can impact them too. Once it becomes a culture within your business, those who do not live up to expectations will be frowned upon, and everyone can be encouraged to work towards a common goal.
Recycling can become part of your everyday processes, which people are trained in and signposted towards from their very first day within the business. This means that thinking about recycling becomes natural and it will become much more efficient as everyone does their bit. It also means that the time of your employees can also be put to better use, as there will be less need for sifting and sorting through waste.
When your whole company works towards the same recycling goals, you will see much greater success and efficiency. It becomes something that runs through every aspect of your business and therefore becomes automatic and part of your processes. Once this becomes ingrained in your business, you can start to reap the benefits and make it a long-term plan that can be built upon over time.
Sarah Vernau is the Marketing Manager at Flame UK, who is an innovative leader in cost containment and the management of all Waste, Energy, and Water consuming businesses.